Science.gov: Providing Unified and Simplified Access to U.S. Government Science Information Presented by Eleanor Frierson, Deputy Director National Agricultural Library and Co-chair, Science.gov Alliance Symposium: Global Discovery on the Internet: A Grand Challenge AAAS Annual Meeting 2006
Why Science.gov? There is a need to find U.S. government scientific and technical information quickly and easily, but information is dispersed across thousands of Web sites (“Surface Web”) and databases (“Deep Web”).
Science.gov Creation Challenges • Broad scope of Federal science and technology research and development missions • Wide-ranging interests of potential audiences • Information organization (taxonomy) issues given the broad scope and audiences • Blending information resources from different agencies into cohesive functionality and page design • Politics, human resources, funding, sustainability
What is Science.gov? • “FirstGov for Science” • A Web portal that provides unified and simplified access to selected U.S. government Web sites and databases that contain scientific and technical information • A voluntary large scale collaboration among U.S. government agencies
What Does www.science.gov Do? • Searches selected Web sites (“Surface Web”) and Databases (“Deep Web”) from one search box, using simple to fairly advanced searching techniques • Combines results from all sources searched, ranks and displays them by relevance • Sends “alerts” for topics of interest every Monday or as new information is added
How Has Science.gov Evolved? • Science.gov Alliance formed in 2001 - 14 scientific and technical information organizations from 10 major science agencies • V. 1.0 of www.science.gov launched in December 2002 • V. 2.0 launched in May 2004 • “Alerts” service launched in February 2005 • V. 3.0 launched in December 2005 • Science.gov Alliance now includes 17 organizations from 12 agencies
Continuing Challenges • More usage – science.gov usage is growing, especially as more “alerts” are established, but it has plenty of room for growth • More complete results display –searches are now comprehensive but the extent of results displayed is a function of the size of result sets supplied from the individual organizations. Ideally, both searching and result display would be comprehensive and uniform • Where to go after v. 4.0?
Continuing Challenges Collaboration with other science portals: • Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC) www.agnic.org • CISTI - cisti-icist.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/cisti_e.html • DEFF – www.deff.dk • JST (Japan) www.jst.go.jp/EN/ • Korea (under development) • RDN - http://www.rdn.ac.uk • Science.gov (Australia) - www.science.gov.au • Science (Canada) - www.science.gc.ca • Science.gouv (France) - www.science.gouv.fr • Vascoda - www.vascoda.de
What’s Next for Science.gov? • Version 4.0, under development, will add searching of decentralized full text repositories to the existing searching of Web sites and databases • Science.gov Alliance members will continue to add new content • www.science.gov will be evaluated and modified to meet customer needs • The Science.gov Alliance will begin thinking about the future of www.science.gov beyond version 4.0